Commerce minister for equal trade opportunities for women

ISLAMABAD, Feb 1 (APP): Federal Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan Wednesday said Pakistan should start viewing trade, business and economy through a gendered lens and provide specific opportunities to its women to realize their potential and lift the economy to new heights.
He was addressing at a seminar ‘SHE TRADEs’ organized by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with International Trade Center (ITC) here at a local hotel.
Besides others, the seminar was attended by Executive Director ITC Arancha Gonzalez and Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman.
Khurram Dastgir said ‘SHE TRADES’ was a global initiative, seeking to empower women through trade and it was a matter of pride that Pakistan, with an ever increasing number of women entrepreneurs finding their way into global business, offered a huge potential in terms of increasing women’s participation in the international and domestic economies.
He expressed the optimism that the seminar would go a long way in
making a statement to the world that Pakistan stood firmly behind the
commitments to connect half a million women to the market by 2020 and also support new commitments for connecting one million women to the market by the same year.
Anusha Rehman speaking on the occasion said it was not the duty of a few women to work for the women empowerment rather it was everyone’s obligation to contribute in this larger global agenda of inclusiveness and women empowerment.
She said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was religiously working on this agenda of digital and financial inclusion.
“We have started special programmes under which 150 ICT laboratries would be established to impart training to girls in coding and computing through Microsoft. This would enable them to earn a respectable livelihood while staying at their homes,” she said.
“We are also initiating a pilot project under the USF for the women of underdeveloped areas and in first phase, around 30 thousand women registered with the BISP would be provided android phones with balance and training to materialize the digital inclusion,” she added.
Anusha Rehman proposed that by using this platform, MoIT was
ready to work with Ministry of Commerce and trade organizations to work in
collaboration for training of the women of rural areas who work from their homes to eliminate the role of middle man.
Arancha Gonzalez said the purpose of her visit to Pakistan and organizing of this seminar was to work with the government for the women’s economic empowerment.
She underlined the need to enact policies that were gender sensitive, ensure quality and accurate data system, secure government contracts for women, strike business deals with women and gave them market accessibility, unlock financial services for women and grant them ownership rights.
She said Pakistan had huge potential and the time was ripe to work for the empowerment of women through trade.